CINCINNATI -- Dee Davis had career highs with 22 points and 15 assists on Friday night, and Xavier scored 68 points in the opening half of a 117-75 victory over short-handed Fairleigh Dickinson in their season opener.
Xavier put together the second-best opening half in its history. The Musketeers scored 72 in the first half of a 122-95 win over Florida International on Feb. 24, 1988, the school record for points in a game.The Musketeers finished with their most points since a 118-113 win over Loyola Marymount on Jan. 4, 1989.Davis had his first career double-double at point guard, where he's taking over for Tu Holloway. He had a dozen assists in the first half alone, matching the school record for a sophomore. His 15 assists tied for second-most in school history, three off the record.Lonnie Robinson scored 20 points for Fairleigh Dickinson, which left four players at home for disciplinary reasons and had only nine players on the bench. The lack of depth quickly took a toll.Xavier 3-point specialist Brad Redford showed he's back to form after injuries, hitting 6 of 7 from behind the arc and converting a four-point play while Xavier pulled ahead 68-32. He finished with a career-high 19 points, one of seven Musketeers in double figures.Both teams opened the season with depleted rosters.Xavier had one of its worst off seasons. Top returning scorer Mark Lyons transferred to Arizona, and forward Dez Wells was expelled for violating the school's code of student conduct. That left the Musketeers with only eight scholarship players and no returning starters.The Musketeers were down to seven scholarship players because freshman guard Semaj Christon -- a new starters -- was sidelined with an infected elbow.Fairleigh Dickinson cut ties with senior guard Lonnie Hayes before the start of the season and disciplined four players for the opener: senior forward Kinu Rochford, junior guard Sidney Sanders Jr., sophomore guard Dylan Moody and freshman guard Sekou Harris.Senior guard Melquan Bolding was the top returning player for the Knights, who went 3-26 last season. The Knights hit a few quick 3s at the outset to keep it close, leading 15-14.Xavier took control with a 21-2 run that featured the four-point play by Redford and two more 3s by the senior guard. Redford missed the 2010-11 season because of knee surgery and wasn't back to full strength last season, when he failed to make a 3 in his last eight games.Once Xavier started hitting shots over Fairleigh Dickinson's zone defense, the Knights couldn't keep up. The Musketeers also worked the ball inside for easy baskets- forward Jeff Robinson got a rebound off his missed 3 and made a lay-in as Xavier pulled away to a 38-point lead before halftime.Xavier shot 70.6 percent from the field during the first half, including 9 of 16 from behind the arc.